Dark Skies August Update
The sky chart shows the sky at around 10:00pm BST during mid August. Although three planets are shown in the night sky at this time, realistically only Saturn, skulking low in the south-west skies will be easily visible. Neptune, rising in the east in the constellation of Aquarius, will need steady mounted binoculars to detect, and even then will just appear as a point of light. Telescopes will be needed to see the small, "bluish" disc that is Neptune, and if you're tempted to look for Pluto... good luck. You'll need at least an 8” scope to find this tiny point of light from the far reaches of our solar system. Far better views of this enigmatic “dwarf planet” can currently be found online at the New Horizons web pages.
The highlight of the month should be the Perseid meteor shower, peaking around the 13th of August. With the moon out of the way, with clear skies we could be treated with up to 70 meteors per hour in the midnight to dawn skies. The shower is active from the beginning of August and slowly increases in meteor numbers up to the 13th, then activity tails off quite quickly. Any clear nights in the month should show you some meteor activity, just keep an eye on the E to S area of the night sky.